Johnson, who was released by Seattle last week, will sign with the Vikings on a one-year deal worth up to $1.5 million, according to a source. NFL Network first reported news of the transaction.
Johnson played 68 percent of the snaps for Minnesota at 3-technique tackle in 2017. The Vikings opted to move on from the eighth-year defensive lineman in free agency and signed Sheldon Richardson as his replacement.
The former Southern Miss product is being brought in to aid with Minnesota’s defensive line rotation on the interior. Behind Richardson and nose tackle Linval Joseph, the Vikings have Jaleel Johnson and David Parry. Fourth-round rookie Jalyn Holmes was inactive for Sunday’s 29-29 tie at Green Bay.
Minnesota will need to make a corresponding move to officially put Johnson on the 53-man roster.
Johnson’s release last week was a surprise given that he had started in Seattle’s opener and played 39 of 74 defensive snaps, finishing with one tackle. Coach Pete Carroll had raved about Johnson over the summer, saying he wished Seattle had signed him six or seven years ago.
When asked after Johnson’s release if he could be back, Carroll said there “could definitely be a chance” for that. Seattle promoted safety Shalom Luani from its practice squad while releasing Johnson. Interestingly, Luani was active but didn’t play a snap on defense or special teams in Seattle’s loss to the Bears on Monday night.
Seattle had signed Johnson to a one-year deal worth $2.1 million and $900,000 guaranteed.